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Govt urged to remove transit trade barriers

September 07, 2012


PESHAWAR, Sept 6: The Pak-Afghan Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PAJCCI) has demanded of the government to address major concerns of business community regarding Pak-Afghan Transit Trade Agreement.  

Vice-president of the chamber, Usman Bilour, told a press conference after chairing a review meeting of stakeholders on APTTA here on Thursday that the government should remove barriers and take measures to boost Pakistan’s trade  with Afghanistan and the Central Asian states.

Honorary council general of Tajikistan in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Engineer Said Mahmood, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Afan Aziz and its other office-bearers were also present on the occasion.

Mr Bilour said that PAJCCI had demanded issuance of one-year multiple visas to businessmen of Pakistan and Afghanistan so that there movement could be made easy.

He suggested that the Afghan government should improve banking system to discourage illegal transactions. He said that the review meeting was aimed at obtaining feedback of the stakeholders in Pakistan and Afghanistan on new Transit Trade Agreement. Findings from the feedback would be submitted to the quarters concerned for proper action, he added.

Mr Bilour said that meetings would also be held in Chaman (Balochistan) and Karachi as passage of transit trade was from these cities. He said that businessmen had serious concerns over payment of rebate.

The PAJCCI vice-president said that a number of rebate cases were rejected and pending on the ground that custom officials demanded original documents which were usually kept by the Afghan authorities for their record.

He demanded provision of computerised GD (goods detail) system at Torkham and Chaman border posts to facilitate custom clearance of goods. He said that currently the facility was provided only in Karachi.

During the meeting security of transit goods was also discussed and the businessmen expressed concern over security of their goods both in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

About PAJCCI, Mr Bilour said that the chamber had been formed with the objective to revive historic economic relations between Pakistan and Afghanistan, curtail smuggling and prevent flow of prohibited goods.

He said that the core objective of this trans-border arrangement was not only to transform the economic landscape of South and Central Asian region, but also to facilitate peace prospects and curb extremism. The chamber will facilitate Pakistan to gain access to the Central Asian states via Afghanistan and would enhance trade opportunities.

He said that PAJCCI was simplifying and easing its membership process and asked the businessmen to register themselves with the chamber for solution of their problems.